Facebook made some recent changes in line to keep the platform fresh some might think they just want to confuse people and a little bit of both usually happens.
I saw the new layout and was really happy of some of the changes. Now I can subscribe to people’s feeds without having to friend them (although I primarily use twitter for that). On the other side it also allows me to unsubscribe from certain updates or all updates from those that continuously post negative, self-promoting, or generally updates that are of no interest to me.
Virtual or Real Friends
For some reason many individuals perceive being a friend on Facebook and believe you are their real life friend. Like many other bloggers and individuals I believe the term Friend online is highly overrated.
Yes I have made very good friends like @Guarionex88, @chrisbrogan, @jacqcarly, @margieclayman, @joeprog, @dr_zu and a few others that I consider my friends in real life that I have met via online interactions. But they are no longer as close to the amount of contacts I have on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
The problem is that just because I allowed you to become part of my contacts on Facebook does not mean I am validating you as a real friend. As we all know we have very few friends in life and I have to say I have been able to expand my list of real friends on occasions via online networks.
Real Friends Becoming Strangers
The nature of online interactions keeps us reading and following the actions of those around us most of the time. Which in turn helps us learn more about those individuals we do not get to interact with them in real life as often. In my case I have seen both sides where I have seen common interests and gotten closer to those that have the same interests as I have.
On the other side I have also ran into situations where I saw an ugly side of people and I have decided to keep myself away from them. When you read some online interactions and what some people share online (TMI) you can get a clearer understanding of who that person is.
Before you might have bumped into that person once every 3-6 months chatted with him for 10 minutes and waited till your next encounter. Now you can follow what that person is up to as often as they share a thought, check into a place with foursquare or Gowalla, or share a picture and get to know them a bit better.
Filtering Negative Comments or Thoughts
We all have our days where we are not as energized or happy as others but if I see a pattern of someone complaining and spreading negative thoughts (over a period of weeks) I try to take it away from my feed and not have to read it. Previously the only option I had on Facebook was to unfriend them or hide their feeds. These two where temporary options since Facebook changes their functionality every few months and when you unfriend some people end up sending you a request to add them back which can create an uncomfortable situation. When I unfriend someone I have no intention of hurting their feelings but people do perceive it in that way.
The Subscribe Button keeps me Away from the Pain
Thankfully the new subscribe button keeps me away from having to read some individuals and still have them as contacts. I have been into various situations where I unfriended or unfollowed someone and they ended up making a big deal about it (one individual kept talking trash about me for months because they where hurt, She knows who she is). Now I can just unsubscribe to their feed and go my own way. No reason to read things from individuals that are over sharing and spreading negative vibes online.
Connecting More with Subscribe Button
I have made it a task that every time I see someone I hardly interact with or is sharing things I am not interested in I go ahead and unsubscribe to their feed. This helps me also to make it more probable to read and see the feeds from those that I am really interested in interacting with them.
The reality is although I favor Google + and use Twitter a lot more many people still live and user Facebook more so I can stay up do date with them via Facebook Interactions.
How are you using the Facebook Unsubscribe button? What do you think of the New Changes?